A serious situation is occurring out on the land in N.E. Arizona where the Traditional Dineh (Navajo) have lived for close to 1000 years. The Traditional Hopi and Traditional Dineh made a pact to protect the land (the mother of life) from rape. In this century Peabody Coal, the Mormon Church, and the US government conspired to avoid that sacred agreement. Children of both tribes were forced to go away to white schools for years of their childhood Tribal Councils were invented that ignored Traditional concerns and allowed corporate deals.
The press and the congress fail to see that the Hopi Tribal Council is not the Traditional Hopi Tribe. 1000's of traditional Dineh have been frightened and tormented off the land in the last 20 years for Peabody Coal. Many have died or have 1/2 lives removed from the source of their prayers and day spiritual land-based understanding.
Now a lease has been invented to deny the sovereignty of this remarkable life-respecting culture. Sheep and horses needed for livelihood are limited below survival needs. Aquafir water for springs is stolen to slurry coal.
Permits to repair houses are denied. Police harassment is a constant threat and reality.
Now Kee Watchman, a respected Traditional Dineh elder, recently returned from the UN at Geneva where he spoke to a US ambassador about coming out to the land to see what is happening. Upon returning, he learned that the Hopi BIA Rangers plan to remove 30-40% of the livestock in Cactus Valley where he lives, this coming Fri., Sat., Sun., and Mon. He asked his sister and niece to call for help. (There are no phones out on the land.) They called August 15th.
He requested Witnesses trained in non-violence come to help now and not to wait. He said it is a now or never situation.
Mon., Aug. 18, 1997, one concerned person calling the BIA was told they had 4 BIA out there counting livestock.
Tues., Aug. 19, Nabahay Kadenahay (Bahe), (a traditional forced to live away from the land in Flagstaff), reported by phone that he had just returned from Cactus Valley and that the situation is serious. He said, "It is a last act of desperation." The people being targeted are those who have refused to sign the lease (since it denies their right and ability to continue their Traditional culture and it was created without the genuine participation of either the Traditional Hopi or the Traditional Dineh).
New congressional hearings to listen to the Traditionals of both tribes are being sought with the hope of creating a cultural and environmental preserve out on the land so the people who have been sent away can return and renew.
If the most Traditional are starved out, the coal company will begin to mine the coal.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Nancy Delaney co-founder of Big Mountain Coalition 1996-97
(510) 944-7747 vm (510) 548-3223 (h)
CALL FOR ACTION
Kee Watchman called me last week and said that an emergency was taking place at Big Mountain and that he wanted me to come and to bring people with me, because the BIA and Hopi Rangers were taking and counting livestock. I Immediately went to His house in Cactus Valley with Coyote of the Elders Circle and Nathalie from Geneva. Saturday August 23 we attended a meeting with the families of the Resistors and spoke and listened to Kee Shay (Elder), Pauline White singer (Elder), Catherine Smith (Elder), Rene Fabbit (Elder) Bonnie Whit singer, Tom Bedoni, John Benally and many other people who STILL LIVE ON THE LAND. The meeting was chaired by Kee Watchman.
During the meeting many people talked about how the BIA confiscated their cattle and they had to pay to get them back and that the cattle were thrown around like dead meat. One elder said that she had lived alone for many years and that she wanted someone to stay with her because she was very scared. They described a terror campaign conducted by the United States of American and their Agencies (BIA) (Hopi Tribal Council). I tape recorded the meeting and have played it on numerous radio stations in the Bay area.
I don't want to go on with details in Policy(IU(Js and UN work and such because there are great pieces of information in many news groups and web sites.
I was asked during the meeting to bring people with me to help defend the land and the cattle. I was very concerned because I have been attacked personally and I am sure that I am a victim of Co-Intel- Pro, for my many years of work for Leonard Peltier and my political work. I was told (IR(JBobby, this isn't some organization this isn't the Sovereign Dineh Nation or the Dineh Alliance this is us the people who still live here on the land. We wont be manipulated by some Hierarchy or Dictatorship and there are many people and groups around the world that have tried to do this to us. This is us We are asking you now, you keep that, this is us asking you. I felt a heavy responsibility hearing those words and I pray that many people will come to the Black Mesa Area and truly stand with the last traditional indigenous struggle in America.
In the morning I was waken up by a helicopter and got my boots on as fast as possible. The Helicopter kept going but, I felt uneasy. Kee Watchman came to my tent and told me that they were pulling up cattle trucks and that they were going to be counting sheep at Kee Shay(IU(Js. We went and photographed the trucks and were approached by a hopi ranger. Seeing that we had a camera and were asking questions had him pretty confused and uneasy. He took down our license plate number and we went back to Kee Watchmans. It was decided that We had to get back as soon as possible and bring as many people as possible. If any body truly cares about Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights, the Environment this is the time to act for these People. I will be doing a workshop for civil disobedience at the Earth First summit this weekend in the Bay Area and we are relying on who ever reads this to bring help to Big Mountain.
(Black Mesa Area).
here is a memo that was issued on August 07, 1997
THE HOPI TRIBE
TO Navajo Family Permittees
FROM Robinson Monani, Director
Office of Range Management
SUBJECT Livestock Count Schedule 1997
Please find enclosed a schedule of the livestock count for your respective range unit. The Hopi Agency Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) personnel and Hopi Tribal Staff will be conducting the livestock counts. Please round up and corral your livestock on the dates indicated and BIA and Hopi Personal will be at your corrals to conduct the physical count.
It is requested that you paint brand all your sheep to distinguish separate ownership prior to the count. Also, please have your horses and cattle corralled to have them counted.
Thank you for your cooperation and assistance.
then there is an attachment and it designates the Range unit and example
RANGE UNIT 451/573
Round up-Wednesday,August 27th
Count-Thursday, August 28
Range Unit 572/571/569/570
Round up-August 28th
Count-Friday, August 29
What is not said in the memo that after the count the rangers give them notice to relinquish the cattle and they come and confiscate them in 5 days.
They need International Observers, NGO(ISU(Js people trained in civil disobedience, Vehicles, Radio Equipment, Camera equipment D and AA batteries. Butane tanks, food etc... All this has to be done now. The next 30 days are critical.
The DINEH PEOPLE WHO ARE STILL ON THE LAND ARE GIVING A CALL FOR ACTION. COME AND STAND BESIDE THEM NOW!
I will be returning next week with more people and supplies and more people are on their way now. I know for a fact that there needs to be more people because it is such a large area. During the meeting Coyote of the Elders Circle said (IR(J While we are all here in the meeting theres not any one watching their sheep.
They could have heard about the meeting and got prepared to move in while nobody is watching(IS(J. The cattle and sheep is their only way of survival. The excuse for taking the sheep is because they are destroying the vegetation. If they were concerned of the vegetation they would have kicked Peabody off the land not the Traditional Dineh People.
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